The heat was almost unbearable as Reese rushed through the building. Who the hell built this place? Daedalus? She thought. Her mother had recently moved them into this new apartment building and Reese was almost sure this place must have been made of paper considering how fast it was burning. She began to cough up a lung as the smoke quickly filtered through the cloth she had been tightly pressing against her face.

Her head began to feel light has she stumbled against the wall. Gotta keep going. Gotta find mom. Gotta keep…going. Gotta... keep… darkness bleed into the edges of her vision as she reached the door of her mother's apartment.

She tried to open the locked door with no such luck and soon began to slam her ten year old body against the door while screaming for her mother. Soon the world faded to black and her small body slumped against the door.

She woke in the arms of a firefighter, he seemed to have a friendly face with piercing red eyes. "Come on kid we can't have another one bite the dust." Ash covered his worried face as he held the mask tightly to her face. "Hey Tai! I think she's coming around!" he yelled and soon a tall blonde man invaded her vision.

"Oh thank Buddha she's gonna be okay. That makes it ten survivors now."

Reese weakly grabbed hold of the red eyes man's jacked and mumbled something they could not hear. The blonde man scrunched his brows and said, "Hey Qrow loosen your grip. She looks like she's trying to say something."

When Qrow removed the mask Reese began to cough and in between fits she managed, "Did you save my momma?"

Qrow gently placed the mask back on her face and gave her a heartbreaking expression. "Was your apartment the one you were found in front of?" Reese managed a weak nod as tears began to streak down her ash covered cheeks." Qrow took a deep breath and said "I'm sorry…. We did everything we could but we just couldn't get her out."

The world felt as though it had been thrown off its hinges. More tears fell down her cheeks as she curled against the fire fighter that had taken care of her. She watched old and wrecked apartment building's flame extinguish as smoke ascended into the night sky. She almost felt as though she related to it in a way, it burned so bright, it took so many people with it, and then just diminished. She felt like the diminished flames gone and cold on the inside. The last of her family taken with it.

The next few events to transpire passed in a blur. She hardly spoke as the social worker came and picked her up from the station. The blonde woman stood tall with her stern expression conveying no real emotion. Reese heard words such as 'shock' and 'trauma' passed around but the worst one was 'I'm sorry'. It was said to her so often those words lost all meaning to her. Every one of the foster families looked at her differently when they found out about her mother. She was called an orphan and taunted at the many schools she attended.

Her first family seemed to somewhat care about her but the boys she had been housed with of course were not the same as their parents. She wasn't sure how many of them were the sons of the foster parents but she did know that they made sure she didn't belong there.

The next family was much of the same only this time it's was a mix of boys and girls that hated her. It was much of the same from home to home she was kicked to. Some kids were mean because she had actually known her mother and others because they knew she had had a better life than them at some point. Others just to be plain cruel. She learned quickly not to trust others unless they proved it in some way to her. Her best friends from one of the homes were Nora and Ren. They had been inseparable until the family had decided to adopt them and realized they had no real room for Reese in their home.

No family really wanted her for too long, she passed from home to home so often she lost count. Some homes were worse than others. Some homes had abusive foster parents that did all sorts of things to her. One foster parent almost sold her away for some drugs but by that point she had memorized her social worker's number and called her immediately from her foster mother's stolen cell phone.

Glynda was the one to ship her from home to home over the years. She would get more and more frustrated with every home that rejected her. Every time Glynda picked her up she would say she was sorry and give Reese a hug as she held her hand on the way to her car. She even joked about adopting her herself saying that it would be much less paperwork to deal with. Of course this only got Reese's tiny hopes up that maybe one day, that that would actually happen and that maybe she would have a stable home. Even if it was with her normally stern social worker.

Glynda had become the one consistency of her life and the only parental figure she had been able to count on over the years of torture she suffered in the foster system, but of course that was too good to be true. Soon when Reese was fifteen Glynda had been T-boned by a drunk driver. The day that Arthur Watts came to tell her what had happened to Glynda and that he was going to be her new social worker had been the second worst day of her life. She collapsed in tears on the spot as he walked away saying "Come on then we don't have all day. We have to get you to your new home, my guess is that you were too much of a sniveling brat in this one to make them want to keep you."

The years with Mr. Watts as her worker had been the worst yet. He dragged her to homes he knew were unfit but had paid him off to keep quiet and let them just siphon the money that they got from the system. It didn't get any better when she discovered her love of fire. All the families that saw her play with fire usually got spooked and shipped her off with Mr. Watts. It had gotten to the point where after every home that rejected her Watts would beat her until she promised not to play with fire anymore, but Reese knew he was mostly mad because he no longer had an extra bonus to his paycheck.

It wasn't like she could help the fact that she loved fire. The way it danced on the edge of a match was mesmerizing, the bigger the fire the more beautiful it was. With every flame she saw she could almost see her mother's face. It wasn't until the last house that she had gotten sent to that she had made a pact with her new best friend Sun to leave the system before they kicked them out again.

The second they got their high school diplomas they stole their records and some drug money from their current foster family and they ran. It was only a couple of thousand but it was enough for a bus to another part of the city and to pay off an apartment for the first few months until they got jobs. It wasn't perfect but it was theirs and they finally had a real home that they could keep.

It wasn't until she was nineteen and she decided to pay a visit to a particularly abusive 'family' she had been sent to. She didn't really remember how she got there or if there were people inside but she did know she set their house on fire and left. She had considered standing across the street to watch it burn but she knew that they would catch her. They would know it was her.

She caught the report later on the news. No dead but the house was unsalvageable, they marked it as arson but the family was under suspicion of starting it themselves because of their past of multiple accounts of fraud. So insurance fraud wasn't above them. The thought of them going to jail put a smile on her face, bigger than the one she had been wearing as she watched the flames lick and lap the house, singeing and burning everything in its wake.

Soon Reese felt an itch, watching the fire she had made her feel something. She hadn't felt real feelings for the seven years since her mother's death and even less since Glynda's. She knew this was a dangerous road to take but the rush was amazing, if not too much.

Years past after that and burning her past art works and books turned into her old clothes. One more thing turned into burning an abandoned car in an abandon construction zone. Then came burning the bushes of her old high school. A blow torch was her most prized possession and she knew this slope was gonna become real slippery if she didn't stop soon. It wasn't Sun had caught wind of what she had been doing and hid all of her supplies.

"SUN!" screamed Reese as she ran through their apartment searching for her lighter, her blow torch or even her matches.

"Yeah?" he said innocently as he swiped left and right on the app on his phone.

"Where's my stuff!" she yelled as she stalked towards him.

"I have no clue what you're talking about." he said as he yawned and stretched out on the couch.

"You know exactly what the hell I'm talking about you monkey bastard." Anger pumped through her as she neared him.

Sun sighed and finally looked up from his phone, "I hid them. You need to go cold turkey from burning things for a while. We are twenty two years old now and all these years of burning shit is gonna catch up to you if you don't slow down."

Reese rolled her eyes and said "You're exaggerating, it's not that bad."

"You recently burned down a grocery store because they treated you badly."

"I did the people of this city a favor! Everyone in that store are assholes! And it's not like I've killed anyone yet. I'm pretty damn careful." said Reese, her anger finally losing some steam.

"Yeah? And what happens when you finally do kill someone?"

"Well... I… I don't know yet… but I'll figure it out when it comes down to it." Her shoulders began to sag as she sighed and shoved Suns legs off the couch so that she could sit down.

"Hey! It's not my fault you're a pyromaniac!" He said as he gripped the side of the couch to keep from falling off the couch.

"Yeah but it's your fault I can't burn things now as stress relief." Reese responded as she began to look for the tv remote.

Sun snickered, "Please it's not like you have that hard of a job. All you do is ink people for a living, that and some crazy ass parkour, but I do that with you so it's not like you have to worry about not having any help if you fall down and hurt yourself." Reese rolled her eyes a she slid her hands in between the leather cushions to find the remote. "Hell my job is ten times more stressful."

"I wouldn't call joining a group of thieves that steals things all over the world a job. It's more of a… hobby." said Reese as she finally felt cool plastic of the silver remote against her hand. Grabbing it she turned on the tv and began to surf the channels.

"Hey it pays the bills doesn't it?" said Sun with a snarky grin.

"Yeah yeah whatever." Reese continued to surf channels until she heard a stream of messages blow up Sun's phone. "If you're gonna be sexting on grinder you better turn that volume down."

Sun stuck his tongue out at her and put up his legs on her lap so that he could comfortably stretch out on the couch. "You're just jello that I get laid more often then you in every way imaginable."

"If I wanted to get laid I'd just go down the street or hit up Blake." said Reese as she slumped against the couch and finally settling on live coverage of a forest fire.

Sun chuckled, "Ha. Like that would happen. You tossed Blake to the curb the moment she started to show any form of wanting something real and then she joined my merry band of miss fits to travel the world."

Reese began to tap her foot and pick at the useless buttons on the control. She felt itchy and uncomfortable all over. "That had nothing to do with it, it was a mutual decision to stop seeing each other. Anyway back to the real subject at hand when are you going to give me back my stuff?"

Sun rolled his eyes and scratched the stubble that was beginning to form on his face. "Probably not until the grocery store incident blows over."

Reese groaned, "But that could be weeks, nothing ever happens in this damn city."

"Then you'll have to wait weeks. I don't want them to catch you and have you shipped off to some prison that I'm going to inevitably break you out of and then move to a different country just so that this whole craze can start again." Sun said in one breath, not once looking up from his phone until a small smile started in the corners of his lips. "Unlessss you join us."

"Sun we discussed it, I'm an arsonist not a thief. You're the klepto between us and that's why we work so well."

"But we need a demolitions expert! Our old one left for a rival group and we wanna do bigger and better jobs." Sun was now up and on the edge of his seat. His phone forgotten on the coffee table.

"Sun for the last time I'm good at making fires not explosives. Do I know how to build an explosive and strategically place it in a building so that it takes out the whole building in one fire? Yes. Do I know the anarchist cook book by heart? Yes. But that doesn't mean I'm an explosives expert. There so much I would need to learn to even be considered an expert."

Sun sighed and sat back down on the ugly yellow couch, "…You do know you're still not getting your stuff back until this stuff about the grocery store cools down, right?

"Yeah yeah I know, but can we atleast have pancakes for dinner?" said Reese as she looked away from the forest fire on the screen.

"If it'll keep you happy and not use the sugar in the cabinet as an accelerant to set my sheets on fire again then yes. Maybe I'll invite the gang over." Sun said casually as he lifted his legs to put them back on Reese's lap and continue to swipe on his phone.

"Fine. But you better not be inviting them over just to get them to try and recruit me." Reese stared at him until he looked up from his phone to look her in the eyes.

"Would I do that to you?"

"Yes you absolutely would, that's exactly how you got me to do the first job with you guys."

"Point taken…"

The hours past and soon the pancakes were made and their friends filtered in. First came Coco the smooth talker of the group. She could get you to hand over your wallet, car and the deed to your house with just one conversation. After her arrived Arslan, their reserved leader, she may not look it but she was a criminal master mind. She has figured out ways to steal anything and everything, nothing was beyond her reach. After her arrived Sage, their heavily tattooed ex- military combat expert. No one was really sure what his past was other than he wouldn't talk about it and that he used to be a hitman for hire. Finally in came Blake strutting in with such beauty and grace that you'd think she was the expert con man of the group, but no she was the expert hacker so good she barely existed.

Maybe it was just Reese but the moment Blake stepped into the room everything seemed to stop for just a moment and when their eyes met Reese could feel her itch to burn something fade just a bit. Breaking up with Blake had been one of her greatest mistakes and yet one of the most necessary ones. Reese knew that no one could get close to her for very long before they would end up like her mother and Glynda. She was a disaster magnet and she didn't want the people she cared for to get caught in the cross fire.

One of the only reasons she hadn't pushed Sun away just yet was for the selfish reason of not wanting to be alone. That and the moment they became friends and family he had been impossibly difficult to get rid of. (Not for lack of trying).

Soon every one gathered around their table and began to stack pancakes on their plate as they talked about their next big job. They passed around possibilities as they traded stories about everyone's latest vacation.

Sage as always only said his vacation was fine providing no further information. Coco began to talk about the yacht she had won in a high stakes poker game she had played with other people's money. Arslan talked about some rich heiress that had kept trying to get into her pants as she partied on Coco's yacht.

Coco snickered' "Please stop pretending you didn't ask for it. 'Oh look at me! I'm rich and am dying of a broken heart!'" Coco fenged clutching her chest and put her wrist against her head as she leaned back in her chair. "I just have so much money and am so lonely I just don't know what to do with myself."

"Hey! I'll have you know all they did was ask if I was single and that lead them to flock to me. It's not my fault I accidently became the center of attention!"

The rest of the group just laughed, "So Blake what have you been doing with your time off? Hitting the clubs? Hacking the pentagon?"

Blake rolled her eyes and scoffed, "Please, I hacked the Pentagon when I was eleven and still on dial-up. But if you must know I didn't really go out much this time. I just spent the whole vacation inside reading and occasionally going to the local coffee shop."

"BOOooorrrring," Shouted Sun.

"If I'm so boring then what did you do this vacation? Catch the clap?" Blake said with a smirk on her face.

"Been there done that kitty cat. I have been up to my usual if you catch my drift." Sun bit his lip and wiggled his brows.

"You're disgusting."

"So what has our little pyromaniac been up to?" said Sage in his deep soothing voice in an attempt to calm the air between Sun and Blake.

Reese shrugged, "You know some tattoos here and there. Burned down the grocery store on Main Street…you know the usual…"

Blake rolled her eyes and chuckled along with Sage. "Thank the gods you did. That place had terrible service." said Sage as he continued to laugh.

"SEE!" yelled Reese as she pointed at Sage and looked at Sun. "He gets me!"

"Ah yes an emotionally unavailable assassin agrees with you when it comes to destruction of property. You totally have all the reason in the world to burn down a building because they were rude to you." Spoke Coco as exaggeratedly as possible.

"And they gave me the wrong change!" said Reese quickly seeing this was a losing battle.

"Oh dear me how rude of me!" said Coco before her and the rest of the table began to laugh. Sun high fived Coco over Reese's head and Reese re-considered her life decisions.

Reese slumped down in her chair as the laughter died down and the conversation turned to their next big job. As of recent they tended to go after big companies in order to help people in situations where they couldn't help themselves. Reese had only been dragged into two or three jobs over the years they had been together. Everyone knew not to push Reese into helping them and she would provide help whenever they desperately needed it. Basically the plan R for whenever plans A-Q failed.

Soon as always they began to argue over which job to do and debated the stakes of each job. Every so often Reese would pipe up about certain things they were missing for each job and they would slowly eliminate jobs until they had one left and it was late into the night. Soon everyone said their goodbyes and agreed to buy tickets to the location they agreed on the next morning. Of course Reese wasn't going to go no matter how much Sun begged and the others gently asked.

By the next morning Sun was gone and the apartment felt cold and empty.


A.N.

Oh would you look at that, A PunkMetal story that I originally started as a present for someone but then got addicted to the story. Punkmetal is the name of the Pyrrha/Reese ship for those of you who did not know. I hope you guys like it and if you wanna know about what happened to my other story Burned Bread all I have to say about that is soon. Anyway I hoped you guys liked the first chapter of this and till next time peoples!

p.s.- i don't own RWBY.